Best Daycare In Nashville – When Amanda Pratt, a student at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, found out she was pregnant in 2016, she was immediately put on a waiting list for a childcare center. After being homeless for a few months, she paid for three children in Nashville.
“We estimate a waiting list of 12 to 20 months,” Pratt said. As a child and an older child, this fascinated me.
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She tracked down a family facility near her home in East Nashville and located it a week before her son was born. At 10 months old, he is still on the waiting list for the PratFirst program.
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Pratt and her doctor husband, who cost about $1,000 a month, pay child care expenses, and they pick up and drop off their son before the center opens, as the workday begins. While the overall cost is significant, Pratt says it’s more cost-effective than hiring a maid.
“Being a working parent is really important,” Pratsed said. “You can’t work if you don’t think you can find a safe place to meet your child’s basic needs.”
Talk to high-income parents in Nashville and you’ll hear the same story: long wait times, high costs, and no place to care for their children. In most businesses, excess demand leads to excess supply, but while others try to capitalize on the demand, Nashville Daycare Center does not. possible
Davidson County has 435 child care centers, down 16 percent from 518 18 years ago. During this period, the population of the city increased by 21 percent.
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“Across the country, there is a lack of care,” said Gina Teh, child care coordinator for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee. “There is a great need.”
The cost and availability of child care in Nashville affects families seeking care, employers and the long-term education of children in need.
“Early care and education is a very important part of our nation’s infrastructure, as is our public school system,” said Lee Austin, executive director of the Child Services Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley. “Not doing it right has a cost.”
Sue and Bill Munson, owners of Leaps N Bounds Preschool on Trinity Lane, started their preschool nearly a decade ago as an option for families in North Nashville. In addition to the 100 students ages 6 weeks to 5 enrolled in their program, there are over 100 more on the waiting list.
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“A lot of them are seeing us before their kids are born,” Bill Munson said. “Some come to us before they have children due to homelessness.”
But it’s no surprise to him that many independent sites haven’t launched in response to demand. Low profit, high risk. He said he went into business to give back.
“The problem is too much debt,” Bill Munson said. “We have a lot of control. You have to have heart for it.”
Tech estimates that 55 programs have disappeared in Middle Tennessee in the past four years. While government regulation is in place for good reasons, Tech said, it can place significant burdens on small businesses.
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“What we hear over and over again is that people don’t know how to make ends meet,” Teh said.
Daycare centers must meet fire and environmental safety standards, including credit standards, and must maintain immunization and health records for each child. They conduct independent staff drug screenings and investigations, monitor students and faculty, and follow food preparation procedures. In 2015, the Tennessee Department of Human Services increased the frequency of child care inspections as an additional safety measure.
Paying $180 to $275 a week per child is lower than most centers in Nashville because affordability is a priority, Sue Munson said.
As regulation increases, directors do more administrative work and there is no money for accountants and bookkeepers, Tech said. Those with fewer than 100 children find it more difficult to use a business model without sharing management services.
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“They have to be smarter about their work now,” Tech said. “A lot of people don’t get into this industry to be entrepreneurs … Every day I go home at the dinner table and talk to people who do paperwork because they don’t have time every day.”
According to the 2016 New American Care Report, Tennessee ranks in the top six states for child care as a percentage of family income. Tennessee families pay an average of $7,406 for child care at the center, which quadruples to $27,438 a year if they employ a single girl. The average cost is 37 percent of the median household income in Tennessee, or 108 percent of the minimum income.
As the number of teachers increases, the demand for childcare services is very high. Many centers do not offer babysitting services because it costs more to maintain these rooms, which increases the demand for certain lifestyles.
While some programs have been able to balance the costs of infants with large numbers of older children, one unintended consequence of expanding Metro’s pre-K program has been the exclusion of older children from care programs. . .
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For Munson, operating costs and employee benefits have increased over the past decade, but compensation from the Tennessee Department of Human Services has remained the same.
“They’re the ones who have to make connections between the families we’re trying to serve,” Sue Munson said.
For some, especially those with multiple children, the cost of childcare can wipe out a parent’s wages, forcing them to forgo income and stay at home. Or cut back on other needs.
“It’s a big, big deal for people now,” Tech said. “They want the best for their kids. They want the best program.”
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Gwenlaser, director of the child care certification program at the state Department of Human Resources, said the department is reviewing its reimbursement rates.
“We know the market is going up,” Lazer said. “It’s something we understand and we want families to get the help they need. We’re looking into it.”
In relation to the centers that operate on a budget, those who work in childcare and manage childcare in the most difficult years are paid more than their trained staff. Their job, Austin said.
“This period from birth to five years of age is critical to building the foundation for academic success and broader economic outcomes for children in elementary school and adulthood,” Austin said. “We know that it affects children’s reading ability. We know that literacy affects school graduation rates. High.”
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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median salary for a child care worker in Nashville in 2017 was $21,830, or $10.49 an hour, less than half the salary of an elementary school teacher in Nashville. A 2016 report by the Child Care Employment Research Center found that nearly half of child care workers in the U.S. rely on public assistance programs, compared to 26 percent of the U.S. workforce.
“Teachers should be paid a living wage, but at the same time, parents can’t be burdened,” Austin said. “Parents are really burdened with the cost of care.”
Without changes to the wage structure, Tech worries that less skilled people will move into higher-demand occupations.
“The current system does not support salary increases,” Tech said. “We don’t have enough money, we have to start thinking outside the box and think of different ways of doing it.
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Tennessee’s voluntary Pre-K program, which covers about 20 percent of Tennessee’s four-year-olds, pays preschool teachers the same as kindergarten teachers. The program targets at-risk students and is part of an effort to improve the school experience, said Tennessee Department of Education spokesman Chandler Hopper. Teachers must have a four-year degree, pass a teacher licensure exam, and enroll in an early stage curriculum and advanced education program that meets state-developed developmental standards.
“These are professional educators who work with four-year-olds to address potential learning disabilities and prepare them for school,” Hopper said. “So they will be rewarded like any other teacher.”
Approximately 18,000 children are eligible for the state-funded program. Austin praised the program as a model for other states